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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth…

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter (original 2010; edition 2010)

by Seth Grahame-Smith

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Title:Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter
Authors:Seth Grahame-Smith
Info:Grand Central Publishing (2010), Edition: 1st, Hardcover, 336 pages
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Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith (2010)


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Showing 1-5 of 220 (next | show all)
If it isn't obvious from the title, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is an alternate history in Honest Abe is an vicious killer of the bloodsucking monsters that haunted him as a young child. Though it would have been easy to simply paint him as a vampire hunter in his free time, the book does offer a bit more depth than that, including slavery and the American Civil War into the fold with vampiric connotations.

I have mixed feelings on this one. The plot is interesting at first, but I found once it reached Lincoln's time as president I was bored, primarily because I'm already familiar with the history and the vampires took a back seat. I was also irritated with the writing. The story is told from two perspectives: diary entries written by Abraham himself and 3rd-person passages written by a modern narrator. The problem is the book literally flips between the two between paragraphs, sometimes between sentences, and though I wouldn't say it was disorienting the constant shift in perspective irked me to no end. The book would read as such:

Abraham saw the vampire entering the window. I was startled. He grabbed for his axe. I forgot I didn't have it on me.

Okay, that's an extreme exaggeration, but that is how it felt as I was reading it. There were even times when it would switch between the modern narrator and Abe's diary entries, even though both were telling the story in 3rd person at the time, so it literally added nothing to the narrative. Still annoyed me anyway, perhaps all the more so for how completely pointless it was.

It probably sounds like I hate the book by now. I really didn't, and in fact enjoyed many aspects of it, such as the characterization and the "world-building." I just couldn't fully enjoy it because I spent most of the time fuming over the shifting perspective. ( )
1 vote Ape | Oct 3, 2015 |
I really enjoyed the way the author weaved into history this secret back story. I can't speak for this book's accuracy, but I will say that it is fun to go along with. ( )
  rawrrbot | Sep 15, 2015 |
As a prelude to this review I must say that I am somewhat of a traditionalist when it comes to vampire stories. I love Bram Stoker and grew to like Anne Rice, liberties taken with the original vampire legend after that are on a hit and miss basis where I am concerned. Risking the wrath of half the literate world I did not like TWILIGHT. When I saw the title of this book I had to pick it up. Written by the author of PRIDE & PREJUDICE & ZOMBIES, which I did not read because –risking the wrath of the other half of the literate world here – I am not a huge Jane Austin fan. This book was more than interesting. He takes some liberties with the vampire lore, but not so much as to take away from the original concept of vampires which so appeals to me. Credit must be given when credit is deserved. Mr. Grahame-Smith takes this well known, monumental figure from history and intertwines his history with vampires. He does it in such a way that it seems almost feasible. I often sat back with that contemplative “hmmmmm … I can see that!” in my mind. Photo Shopped historical pictures helped with this illusion. I enjoyed the factual nature of the book with regards to Mr. Lincoln’s life and achievements and the vampire tie-in made it a very interesting read. I admit I skimmed quickly through the civil war parts, but Mr. Lincoln’s “vampire interaction” during his younger days, the slavery issues and his presidency is intriguing. ( )
  ChristineEllei | Jul 14, 2015 |
Set in the 1800s, this book follows Abraham Lincoln’s life. Initially, the story is told from the viewpoint of the author who stumbled upon the hidden, secret diaries of Lincoln. The story then shits to a historical retelling of Lincoln’s life, with snippets of Lincoln’s diaries added in here and there. There’s vampires, and hunting, and politics.

First, I adored Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride & Prejudice & Zombies so I was really looking forward to this book. However, this book is told in a very different manner and I have to say I didn’t like it near so well as my first Grahame-Smith book. First, the point of view shifts back and forth often, and not just the POV, but also the tone. We start off with the amiable author finding the secret hidden diaries. He uses these as a basis for writing a new history on Lincoln. The reader is then tossed into this ‘history’ with no more amiable author POV. The history is written rather dryly being mostly dates, places, events, people. But then little snippets of Lincoln’s hidden diaries are tossed in nearly every other page. These snippets are much more personable and have a very different pacing and flavor from the ‘history’. I often found myself frustrated that the author, Grahame-Smith, didn’t just pick one style or the other to the story telling for the majority of the book. The historical parts would put me to sleep and the diary parts would jolt me awake, get me hooked and then leave me sad and weeping for more.

Perhaps I should get a paper edition and cut out all the diary entries, paste them together, and read the book that way. That would probably be more satisfying.

The other thing that made me sad was that there were almost no women and what few women there were, had little to do with the story. Grahame-Smith set such a high bar with Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, which has several lead female characters, that I really expected something of the same here. Alas, the lack of female vampire slayers had me weeping again.

Lastly, the author over-used a dramatic ploy. You know how an author will launch you into an action sequence with all the characters you have become familiar with, then something horrible happens, and you start to think through all the consequences this has for the plot… and then the character wakes up and realizes it was a bad nightmare. I think this little ploy was used like 4 times in the book. And to make me shed a few more tears, these dream sequences were some of the best written action scenes of the entire book.

Really, I haven’t cried this much over a book (in frustration) in forever.

There were a few things I liked about the book. Since it is written like a history, we do learn quite a bit about Lincoln’s life. He did have some issues with family members that would have been scandalous today. I really liked the dark, deeply serious tone of the diary entries.

Over all, it was a real let down.

Narration: Scott Holst did a good job. He had to sound like a dried up history professor for the dry historical bits and then completely switch gears and become Lincoln for the diary entries. Since many of those entries also recorded conversations had with other folks, Holst had to come up with several male character voices with regional accents. He performed well! ( )
  DabOfDarkness | Jul 11, 2015 |
This is the story of Abraham Lincoln as a vampire hunter. As a boy, when he learns both his grandfather and his mother were killed by vampires, he vows to hunt every vampire in America down and kill them. When he meets a vampire who is willing to train him, he becomes the best vampire hunter in America.

I really liked this. I will admit that I don't know American history very well, so what I know about Lincoln is only the very basics. I do suspect much of what was in the book did really happen (but I can't say for sure) – except, of course, all the stuff about vampires! I didn't find it fast-paced, as it followed him on his travels for both work and vampire-hunting, but I really enjoyed it. ( )
  LibraryCin | Jun 30, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 220 (next | show all)
Despite the bluntness with which it works vampires into the American fabric, Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter is a fun read... As a secret history... it rests on a good idea, and stays true to its own internal logic and to the world it builds for itself.
added by Shortride | editPopMatters, Andrew Gilstrap (Mar 25, 2010)
Grahame-Smith's sophomore effort outlasts the kitsch value of its title, and freed from the constraints of updating (or defacing, depending on one's viewpoint) a revered literary gem, the writer delivers a well-constructed, surprisingly satisfying narrative that straight-faces its absurd premise: that Honest Abe, the 16th president of the United States, led a secret life slaying the fanged undead.
I'll have to admit, I sort of had a love-hate relationship with this book.

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Seth Grahame-Smithprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Holst, ScottNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?
--Edgar Allan Poe
For Erin and Joshua
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Facts: For over 250 years, between 1607 and 1865, vampires thrived in the shadows of America.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Indiana, 1818. Moonlight falls through the dense woods that surround a one-room cabin, where a nine-year-old Abraham Lincoln kneels at his suffering mother's bedside.

"My baby boy..." she whispers before dying. Only later will the grieving Abe learn that his mother's fatal affliction was actually the work of a vampire. Gifted with his legendary height, strength, and skill with an ax, young Abe sets out on a path of vengeance that will lead him all the way to the White House.

While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years until Seth Grahame-Smith stumbled upon The Secret Journal of Abraham Lincoln. Now, using the journal as a guide Seth reconstructed the true life story of our greatest president. For the first time-all while revealing the hidden history behind the Civil War--and uncovers the role vampires played in the birth, growth, and near-death of our nation.
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While Abraham Lincoln is widely lauded for saving a Union and freeing millions of slaves, his valiant fight against the forces of the undead has remained in the shadows for hundreds of years.

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